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Advertising in a Post-Coronavirus World


INFLUENCER: Brands must be agile and ready for anything, writes Grey Turkey's Alemsah Ozturk

Advertising in a Post-Coronavirus World

The world is changing before our eyes. For the first time the global population is united against one thing: the coronavirus pandemic.

It’s difficult to imagine what the future will look like when this pandemic subsides. Will our habits change for good after spending months in lockdown? How long will it be before we can go to a crowded place without getting anxious?  

What is certain is that we won’t be returning to life as we knew it. The world is evolving for everyone and businesses and brands must accept the new normal and plan accordingly. There will be new problems to solve and brands will need creativity more than ever. 

Imagine what it will feel like when, after this period of social distancing and self isolation ends, you get to see family members you’ve been separated from for months. Or even when you go back into your favourite coffee shop for the first time. People will experience many special moments after this period is over and brands can help tell these stories and spread joy.

Along with creativity, flexibility will be the key superpower in post-coronavirus advertising. Advertisers need to resist making two-year plans - plans need to be weekly and adaptable. Brands must be agile and ready for anything. The key role for agencies will be to help clients use this disruption as an opportunity to transform their businesses. 

Now and in the future, brands need to reconsider the channels they are investing in. At the moment more and more people are discovering TikTok, with lots of celebrities and brands flocking to the platform. TikTok is attracting so many new users because it doesn’t want them to simply share, it encourages them to have fun, try something new - and then share. This is the perfect approach for times like these.

The next big disruption won’t be from a startup, it will be the pandemic itself. The channel of the future will enable people to be more creative by giving them not just the tools (filters and emojis) but also ideas to experiment with. It will be collaborative, creative and fun. 

All over the world, consumers are at home, bored, watching TV or on social media looking for something to grab their interest, so the demand for creativity has never been greater. We still need to fight for consumers’ attention, but the pandemic has changed what people pay attention to. Because of this we need new ideas that inspire unity and purpose.

Many brands are engaging in purpose-driven campaigns and showing they care by donating to food banks, pivoting and trying to do their best to help as many people as they can. We know that consumers are more likely to choose brands that are purpose-driven and show empathy. Brands that are sincere and serve communities will gain people’s trust. 

Whenever we are free to leave our houses and enter into the world again (hopefully that will be some time soon), there will be lots of new rules and challenges to face. This new future asks brands to be more be more attentive, accepting and humane. It is time as an industry to make use of our creativity and expertise to support brands and companies readying themselves for this brave new world.

Alemsah Ozturk is CEO & Chief Happiness Officer at Grey Turkey
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